Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will address a joint session of Congress and the American people when he delivers his State of the Union address. Personally, how much I may agree or disagree with a sitting president, few things intrigue me more than this address every year. The State of the Union address allows a president to reflect back on what went right and what went wrong and where things stand moving forward. The speech is an amazing platform for promoting goals, successes, and new plans moving forward.
The upcoming speech made me think about what would a State of Mississippi State Athletics Address sound like if Scott Stricklin decided give one today concerning Bulldog athletics. What follows below are the talking points if Stricklin charged me with writing such a speech.
1) The State of Mississippi State Athletics is strong, and perhaps, has never been stronger.
2) While there has been success, this is not the pinnacle of that success.
3) There is still work to be done, but the program is on the move.
Mississippi State Football
1) While it may be hard to remember, Mississippi State came off a 2013 season where the Bulldogs were lucky to survive injuries to make it to a bowl game.
2) Much like any new power in the world, the Bulldogs reached the top, but started to stumble once there.
3) The challenge for Mississippi State football is to prove it can adapt and continue to improve in order to stay as a new power in college football.
4) Will Mississippi State football be remembered as a team that kicked down barriers to become a strong football program, or will it be remembered as a flash in the pan?
Mississippi State Baseball
1) Mississippi State Baseball has long been recognized as one of the strongest programs in the nation, however it has not achieved that final step.
2) The only thing left to accomplish for baseball is to take that final step and win the national championship.
3) While it may have been controversial, dragging Dudy-Noble Field into the 21st century was the right thing to do.
Mississippi State Basketball
1) Admittedly, Bulldog basketball has been quite a disappointment the past few seasons, and if there is not progress soon, making changes will be the right thing to do.
2) Fans must remain patient with the rebuilding of the program. While the losses today may be frustrating, it was perhaps even more frustrating to see unfilled potential and a team in a tailspin just a few years ago.
3) The time has come to the players and the coaching staff prove themselves as true leaders and start to show improvement and turn the program around.
4) Mississippi State fans have seen this turn around in women's basketball under Vic Schaefer. His leadership and recruiting of top players has quickly changed the fortunes of the women's program.
1) That same type of enthusiasm and leadership has already proven successful with the softball program. Just last year, Mississippi State did things that had not happened in ages in the program such as picking up back-to-back wins over top-five teams such as Alabama and Tennessee.
2)The future looks bright for softball, and with the hiring of Adam Gordon last year in soccer and the recent changes in volleyball, the expectation is for these coaches to create the same sort of turn around in their programs as well.
1) While many celebrated the Bulldogs taking the No. 1 spot in college football, do not forget that the women's golf team hit No. 1 in the fall as well.
2) Men's tennis continues to improve, and they look to build on the top-ten ranking they held much of the year.
3) Brandon McBride produced a national championship in track in 2014.
1) Mississippi State is not an athletic program on the decline, but it is a program on the rise.
2) Teams and coaches must not become satisfied with their current levels of success, but they must strive for more.
3) From The Hump to Dudy Noble to the Mississippi State softball complex to the Pitts Center to Davis Wade Stadium, let cowbells ring and #HailState
What did I miss? What would you add as important to the 2014 year of Mississippi State athletics, and what vision would you set out for 2015?